'Code' and 'Application' Limitations Found to Connote Sufficient Structure to Avoid Means-Plus-Function Interpretation: A Discussion of Dyfan, LLC v. Target Corp.
- Jason W. Rhodes
In Dyfan, LLC v. Target Corp., the Federal Circuit reversed the district court’s holding that the patents-in-suit were invalid because certain “code” and “application” limitations in the claims were indefinite. The district court construed these limitations as means-plus-function limitations under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 112, 6th paragraph, and found that the specification lacked a corresponding structure. On appeal, the Federal Circuit concluded the “code”/”application” limitations were not written in means-plus-function format. The court relied on its previous holding in Zeroclick, LLP v. Apple, Inc., and expert testimony that the term “code” or “application” in combination with the recitation of its operation would have connoted a structure to persons of ordinary skill. During this lecture, in addition to discussing the holding of this case, we will look at the specific claim language use, and discuss potential pitfalls in drafting such “code”/”application” limitations.